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Bac 2022: the specialty tests are postponed to May



The decision had been expected for weeks. And Jean-Michel Blanquer decided on Friday January 28: final year students will not take their two specialty tests in mid-March, contrary to what was planned. These exams, each assigned a coefficient of 16, will finally be held on May 11, 12 and 13. “The program of events will be the same as that set for the month of March”, says the ministry. “Candidates will therefore not have more themes to review but only more time to work on the initial program. »

Two days of review

The Ministry further indicates that “the subjects will be arranged so that each, according to his specialty, can have a choice of questions or exercises”. In addition, the two days preceding these tests will be devoted, in high schools, to revisions. Finally, to allow students to prepare serenely, “the tests specific to the language level certificate are canceled, exceptionally, for this year”.

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Why such a postponement? Because, despite a high vaccination rate in the high school population, the Omicron wave affected many students, positive or contact cases required to isolate themselves, disrupting the classes in the progress of the program.

False good solution or fairness measure?

The trail of a postponement was certainly not unanimously accepted within the educational community. L’Apel, the association of parents of students in Catholic education, saw for example ” A false good idea “ leading to increased pressure on candidates at the end of the year, candidates already committed “in a calendar oriented towards their higher education”. Some headteachers, particularly in the private sector, warned against “a risk of demotivating students”.

But Jean-Michel Blanquer, although in favor of maintaining the tests in mid-March, ended up agreeing with the opinion of a majority of teachers’ unions and high school organizations, which demanded such a measure, on behalf of fairness between candidates. “The government did not want to take the risk of a high school protest in the middle of the presidential campaign”, wants to believe a union official.

During the 2021 session, which was to mark the entry into force of the reform of the baccalaureate for final year students, the specialty tests had to be replaced by continuous monitoring, to take into account a complex health situation. This year again, therefore, the new formula baccalaureate will not take place as planned.

Does this mean, as some claim, that his mind is distorted? It’s going a bit too quickly. This rearrangement of the calendar – and even the definitive replacement, decided last year, of the “common tests” by a real continuous assessment – does not change the essential: the abolition of the sectors of the general way, replaced by a common trunk accompanied by specialist lessons, and a form of relief from the baccalaureate, now considered a simple point of passage towards studies.

What are the notes really worth?

Nevertheless, this postponement is not without raising questions with regard to the articulation of the high school with Parcoursup. Because the specialty tests had been positioned in March – unlike the other two final terminal tests (grand oral and philosophy), scheduled for June – so that their results could be integrated into the files examined by the higher education courses. Or, to be more precise, so that Parcoursup can have more marks from anonymized tests (such as those of French, passed in first), instead of relying almost exclusively on continuous assessment.

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Because the evaluation practices may have converged a little under the effect of the reform, a 16/20 obtained in a very average high school is generally not worth an identical note given in a very elitist establishment. However, only some of the higher education courses operate, with or without an algorithm, a “correction” of grades to take account of the level of the original high school.

In this case, this year again, with regard to the two specialty courses, it is the continuous assessment averages of the first and first two terms of the final year that will be taken into account in the Parcoursup procedure.

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